Gone are the days of marveling at a horizontal laying baby and just waiting for him to make a coo. Gone are the days of carrying around a snuggely baby from room to room as I do my chores. These days, I’m chasing around a rambunctious crawler (almost walker-scary!) who is determined to get into everything and destroy everything. Now I am in the midst of what I’ve been fearing most. Discipline. (dun dun dun)
I knew this would happen some day. Eventually I would have to embark on the journey of disciplining my child. I guess I just didn’t realize it would happen so soon. The fact that my father-in-law is an expert on parenting (literally-he writes books on it!) doesn’t even seem to help. In fact, I think it makes me more intimidated of the possibility of royally screwing up my child. Especially with such a “spirited” and strong-willed child like mine.
A few weeks ago, I got a glimpse into the impact my discipline has had on Kyler so far. Ever since Kyler started to grasp the concept of “no”, and still proceeded to intentionally disobey, we tried out the firm hand slap. The kid practically laughed in our faces. We knew we had a tough one on our hands. So one afternoon, after Kyler repeatedly ignored my firm “no” when he was touching something he knows he is not supposed to touch, I went about swatting him on the leg. At first he took a deep breath… thought about fussing, but turned around, repeated the offense and took it upon himself to swat his own leg! The boy spanked himself for me! I threw up my arms, tried desperately not to laugh, and prayed for adolescent years ahead of us.
I obviously don’t have this discipline thing figured out. I’m working on it, but it will be a battle of wills that my husband and I will have to continue to fight diligently at for the next 18 years. For now, I have to rest assured in the hope that this little boy will know he is loved above all things. Even we make the wrong choices concerning discipline. I have to keep the focus of my actions to always show him that he is loved and valued regardless of how many times he has to swat his own leg. And at this rate, it will probably be a lot!